Welcome to Ham Radio's Daily Satirical Newsletter since 1990

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A different time for sure.

FRIDAY EDITION: No snow here on the island, the surrounding sea water temperature helped out...Why does the US Navy have a private forest?....No more Coon Lake, it was offensive.....Sounded like a good idea, An Idaho Falls man and two others were in hot water after being found with cooking pots and two chickens in a thermal area of Yellowstone National Park....One guys review of five wire antennas, not my choice!....

NEWSFLASH ! ML&S are pleased to announce a new radio from Yaesu ! The all new compact Yaesu FTDX10 – HF/6M/4M 100W – Hybrid SDR Configuration Like the FTDX101 series, the new FTDX10 utilizes the Yaesu Hybrid SDR configuration – More info to follow soon…

The New Yaesu Ftdx10     UK VERSION WILL COVER 4m !!

This is a Hybrid SDR Configuration
Like the FTDX101 series, the new FTDX10 utilizes the Yaesu Hybrid SDR configuration – Narrow Band SDR and Direct Sampling SDR. The Narrow band SDR receiver emphasizes excellent receiver performance, while the Direct Sampling SDR provides a Digital Processing Real-Time Spectrum Scope.

– Narrow Band SDR with 3 types of Roofing Filters and Phenomenal Multi-signal receiving Characteristics
Like the FTDX101 series, the Down Conversion type receiver configuration with the first IF at 9MHz has been adopted. It makes it possible to incorporate excellent narrow bandwidth crystal roofing filters that have the desired sharp “cliff edge” shape factor. Thanks to the Narrow Band SDR with the latest circuit configuration including 500Hz, 3kHz and 12kHz roofing filters and low-noise oscillator, the RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) reaches 116dB or more, the close-in BDR (Blocking Dynamic Range) reaches 141dB or more, and 3rd IMDR (third-order Intermodulation Dynamic Range) reaches 109dB or more, in the 14MHz band at 2kHz separation.

– 250MHz HRDDS (High Resolution Direct Digital Synthesizer) affords Quiet and Clear Reception
The local circuit of the new FTDX10 uses 250MHz HRDDS method same as the FTDX101 series. Thanks to its characteristics that improve the C/N (carrier to noise) ratio and the careful selection of components in the design, the phase noise characteristic of the local signal achieves an excellent value of -145dB or less in 14MHz at 2kHz separation.
– 3DSS (3-Dimensional Spectrum Stream) on the 5-inch Full-Color TFT Display with Touch-Panel Functionality
The 5-inch Full-Color panel shows the 3DSS display. By touching the frequency display, the numeric keypad is displayed, and the active band and frequency adjustment can be set by direct input. Frequency setting and adjustment can also be performed by turning the MAIN dial or touching the scope display. Similar to the FTDX101 series, the MULTI display, RX operation status display, Center, FIX and Cursor modes are available.
– Front Panel Designed for Superior Operating Efficiency
MPVD (Multi-Purpose VFO Outer Dial), is a large multi-purpose ring around the outside of the VFO dial that enables control of Clarifier, C/S (custom selection function) and recall of memory channels.
– Remote Operation with optional LAN unit (SCU-LAN10)
Remote operation of the transceiver is possible with the optional SCU-LAN10 and SCU-LAN10 Network Remote Control Software. In addition to controlling the transceiver basic operations, the versatile scope displays enable sophisticated operation such as monitoring the band conditions on a large display at a location away from the ham shack by connection to a home LAN network.


The features of the new FTDX10 include:
– 15 separate band pass filters
– Effective QRM rejection with the IF DSP (IF SHIFT/WIDTH, IF NOTCH DNF, DNR, COUNTOUR)
– High-quality and super stable final amplifier utilizing the new push-pull MOSFET RD70HUP2
– Aluminum Heat Sink with 80mm low-noise axial flow cooling fan
– High Speed Automatic Antenna Tuner with a large capacity 100-channel memory
– RF & AF Transmit Monitor
– Microphone Amplifier with Three-stage parametric Equalizer (SSB/ AM mode)
– QMB (Quick Memory Bank)
– Band Stack Function
– Optional speaker – SP-30 designed for the new FTDX10
– Optional roofing filter (300Hz) – XF-130CN available


Foundations of Amateur Radio

The excitement is palpable ...

I'm looking at components. Not looking for, looking at. I have them sitting on the bench in front of me. A collection of six variable capacitors and six inductors. There's also a germanium diode, a breadboard, some connecting wires and two connectors.

I don't quite need that many capacitors or inductors and truth be told a breadboard is overkill, but I found myself getting into the spirit of things and for the tiny investment it seems like the thing to get whilst you're dipping your toe into the art of electronic circuit prototyping.

I am noticing something odd whilst I'm looking at these components, a familiar feeling in some ways, butterflies in my stomach. It's the exact same feeling as when I sit at the radio, getting ready to speak into the microphone just as I am starting a weekly radio net, something that I've now done about 480 times, not to mention the times when I did around 1600 interviews or broadcast live to the world, butterflies.

I'm mentioning this because in many ways this is a momentous event, not for the world, not for humanity, not even for the hobby, but for me. It's the first time I'm building a circuit completely from scratch, no pre-made circuit board, no pre-selected components, no building instructions, just me, some resonance formulas and the hope that I've understood what they represent and that the components I selected will do what my calculations say they should.

To make this even less exciting, there's no external power, nothing that's going to go boom or let magic smoke escape, nothing that will break if I get it wrong, but still.

The other day I received an email from Phil, WF3W. We have been exchanging email for a couple of years now. He's a member of the Mt Airy VHF Radio Club in Pennsylvania in the United States.

His email outlined an interesting question. What do new amateurs get excited about in this era of the ubiquitous world wide web? As a hobby we're attracting new members every day. Many of those are coming to the community by way of social media, rather than using things that are more traditionally considered radio like HF DX, making long distance contact using HF radio, rather than exchanging pithy emails or instant messages via the interconnectedness of the globe encompassing behemoth of the Internet.

The answer came easily to me, since last week we had a new amateur, Dave VK6DM who made his very first long distance HF contact between Australia and the United States. His level of excitement was contagious and that's something that I've found happens regularly.

Someone talks about magnetic loop antennas and the next thing six amateurs are building them. One person starts playing with satellites and before you know it YAGIs are being built and people are describing their adventures.

The same is true with my crystal radio. I've talked about it a couple of times and people are digging out their old kits and telling stories about how they grew up with their dad making a crystal radio.

That's what is exciting the new amateurs. The internet is just an excuse to find each other, just like F-troop is an excuse for people to turn on their communications tool of choice at midnight UTC on a Saturday morning to talk about amateur radio for an hour.

My excitement comes from trying new things and just like keying a microphone for the first time, there's this almost visceral experience of anticipation associated with starting.

I'm still working out how I want to build my new toy and how to go about testing to see if it actually works and what to look for if it doesn't. I'm trying hard to resist tooling up with crazy tools like signal generators and oscilloscopes, instead opting to use things I already have, like LC meters and my ears.

I can't wait until I can share how it goes.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Understanding Radio Receiver Dynamic Range

The dynamic range of a radio receiver is probably more important than pure sensitivity. If the radio cannot handle strong signals, then these strong signals can have the effect of masking weak signals that need to be received. It is no use having great sensitivity, if the receiver cannot work under the conditions it is likely to encounter in real situations.

Good dynamic range is not easy to achieve. It requires good RF circuit design techniques to be employed, and good quality, and often more expensive electronic components, and particularly the RF mixers.

The dynamic range specifications for radio receivers can be quoted in different ways and they can use different measurement techniques. Accordingly, understanding dynamic range and the specifications used is needed if different receivers are to be compared on a like for like basis.

Read more: https://www.electronics-notes.com/articles/radio/receiver-dynamic-range/what-is.php

Historic radio books

Iulian Rosu YO3DAC / VA3IUL has made available some PDFs of radio books from the 1920s, 30s and 40's

Among the titles available are:
• The Wireless Experimenters Manual (1920) - E.Bucher
• Radio, Miracle of the 20th Century (1922) - F.Drinker, J.Lewis
• Principles of Radio (1934) - 2nd Edition - K.Henney
• Automatic Frequency Control Systems (1937) - J.F.Rider
• D/F Handbook for Wireless Operators (1942) - W.E.Crook

See Old Radio Frequency Books

The site also has a collection of articles on RF Basics and Theory by Iulian Rosu


Programme Contents - Our second 'Global Request Show'! One hour of songs selected by Radio Emma Toc listeners!

Ways to listen... Radio Emma Toc World Service - programme no. 7 - November 2020

You can listen online - www.emmatoc.com - visit the 'World Service' page.

You can listen to our shortwave or FM broadcasts via our relay partners as follows:

WRMI - Radio Miami International - 9955kHz - covering Latin America (& beyond) Tues 18:00 EasternTime / 22:00 UTC and Wed 20:00 Eastern Time / 00:00 (Thurs) UTC

WRMI - Radio Miami International - 9455kHz - covering Eastern North America (& far beyond) Sundays 21:00 EasternTime / 01:00 (Monday) UTC

World FM - 88.2MHz / 107.6MHz - covering Tawa, Marahau & Stoke, New Zealand Sundays 22:00 NZST / 10:00 UTC and Thursdays 16:30 NZST / 04:30 UTC (alternating with other programmes)

Channel 292 - 6070kHz - covering Europe (& beyond) Fri 6th Nov 19:00 UTC & Fri 20th Nov 19:00 UTC

Scandinavian Weekend Radio - 6170kHz / 11690kHz / 1602kHz / 94.9MHz covering Finland & Europe - Saturday 7th November 07:00UTC

Happy listening! If you are outside the transmitter coverage areas, why not listen via the broadcasters' online services. Website details for the above stations are listed on our own website here - www.emmatoc.org/worldserviceschedule

If you don't have access to receivers & aerials you can try using an online SDR receiver - ve3sun.com/KiwiSDR - experience the enjoyment of tuning around shortwave from worldwide locations online.

We are happy to issue eQSLs for reception reports sent to - emmatoc1922@gmail.com - & will gladly include for online reports. If using an online SDR, please give us the SDR location.

If any stations wish to relay our programme a download link is available on our website. Please advise us of times & dates so we can publicise in our schedule.

Thank you!

Jim Salmon
Radio Emma Toc

THURSDAY EDITION: Slavery used to gather coconuts.....This guy really must have the gift of convincing gab....Clean energy seems to be working in Idaho..These boulders seemed to move on their own-until one scientist figured them out ...Are we becoming worse hunters due to technolgy?....Loon balloon sets 312 day record in flight....

Oldest Known US Radio Amateur, Cliff Kayhart, W4KKP, SK at 109

Charles Clifford “Cliff” Kayhart, W4KKP, of White Rock, South Carolina, died on October 26, a few days past his 109th birthday. An ARRL member, he was the oldest known US radio amateur and possibly the oldest ham in the world.

Last November, Roanoke Division Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU; Vice Director Bill Morine, N2COP, and South Carolina Section Manager Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, jointly presented Kayhart with ARRL’s Centurion Award, which honors centenarian members with at least 40 years of ARRL membership. On that occasion, Hippisley interviewed Kayhart.

First licensed in 1937 as W2LFE in New Jersey, he also held W9GNQ. According to his obituary, Kayhart built his first radio at the age of nine. After working for New York Telephone Company as a young man, he became enamored with engineering, so he headed off to Tri-State University in Indiana, graduating with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Afterward, he went to work for RCA in New Jersey, becoming a quality control manager. Positions followed at Philco Radio and Bendix Aviation.

During World War II, Kayhart joined the US Army Signal Corps, which sent him off to school to study radar. He was assigned to the US Army Air Corps in Georgia and then sent to Hawaii to become part of a Signal Service Battalion. He served at Iwo Jima, shortly after the US victory there, setting up equipment for long-range radio communication and broadcasting, with rhombic antennas in four directions.

In 1946, Kayhart left the Army with the rank of captain, joining Magnavox the following year as its first field engineer; at the time, Magnavox was about to launch a line of television sets. Eventually, he was transferred to the Customer Acceptance Department in Tennessee. Kayhart traveled to Japan in 1963 in search of Japanese television sets. He retired from Magnavox in 1976.

In the 1970s, while living in Tennessee, he spearheaded a project that installed a 2-meter FM repeater on the summit of Camp Creek Bald, still in operation on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.

After Kayhart moved into an assisted living facility in 2017, he had an HF station in his room, courtesy of the Dutch Fork Amateur Radio Group, to which he belonged, and the Columbia Amateur Radio Club. Kayhart remained active on the air until shortly before he died.

According to his obituary, Kayhart was also the oldest surviving Iwo Jima veteran and eighth oldest living US male. He was also the oldest man on the South Carolina Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC. Kayhart was profiled in the June 2018 issue of QST

You have seen the cars with 10 antennas and an obsessed ham driving, well, this is
what a true "contester" looks like in the heat of the battle....

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo is coming to a device near you soon!

The crew at CQ have put out the call for speaker presentations for their next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo in March 2021.

As Eric Guth, 4Z1UG said in an email to us this week " We are looking for amateur radio presentations, on any amateur radio topic, from anyplace in the World where hams live and operate and intend to fill the weekend with excellent and educational ham radio content.

We also made an investment in speaker management software to allow us to make sure that every accepted presentation is on-boarded easily and efficiently."

In this the 'new norm world' there no longer is a need to use local or close by speakers for club events even.

The world is our oyster.
See you at the "Expo"!

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Someone said snow later in the week, a little early. We set the clocks back this weekend, bummer....Did you ever wonder where WWII planes were stored?...The 2020 ARRL New England Convention / Northeast HamXposition will be held (maybe) in November at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, conveniently located in Marlborough, Massachusetts. https://hamxposition.org/......For Sale: a jet powered cheese wedge....Russia claims it has a working vaccine for covid....New conspiracy theory: fake Melania Trump....

ARRL Urges Members to Join in Strongly Opposing FCC's Application Fees Proposal

ARRL will file comments in firm opposition to an FCC proposal to impose a $50 fee on amateur radio license and application fees. With the November 16 comment deadline fast approaching, ARRL urges members to add their voices to ARRL’s by filing opposition comments of their own. The FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) MD Docket 20-270 appeared in the October 15 edition of The Federal Register and sets deadlines of November 16 to comment and November 30 to post reply comments, which are comments on comments already filed. ARRL has prepared a Guide to Filing Comments with the FCC which includes tips for preparing comments and step-by-step filing instructions. File comments on MD Docket 20-270 using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

Under the proposal, amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio application for new licenses, license renewals, upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. The FCC also has proposed a $50 fee to obtain a printed copy of a license. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees. Amateur Service licensees have been exempt from application fees for several years.

The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018 — the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.” The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio Service. The 2018 statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not from application fees. The FCC proposal affects all FCC services and does not single out amateur radio.

ARRL is encouraging members to file comments that stress amateur radio’s contributions to the country and communities. ARRL’s Guide to Filing Comments includes “talking points” that may be helpful in preparing comments. These stress amateur radio’s role in volunteering communication support during disasters and emergencies, and inspiring students to pursue education and careers in engineering, radio technology, and communications.

As the FCC explained in its NPRM, Congress, through the Ray Baum’s Act, is compelling regulatory agencies such as the FCC to recover from applicants the costs involved in filing and handling applications.

In its NPRM the FCC encouraged licensees to update their own information online without charge. Many, if not most, Amateur Service applications may be handled via the largely automated Universal License Service (ULS). The Ray Baum’s Act does not exempt filing fees in the Amateur Radio Service, and the FCC stopped assessing fees for vanity call signs several years ago.

See also “FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees,” reported by ARRL in August, and a summary page of the proceeding.

AL-705 Magnetic Loop Antenna for the Icom IC-705

The AL-705 is a new, versatile portable magnetic loop antenna from Alpha Antenna.

As part of a special agreement with Icom, the AL-705 is now an official partner product for our ground-breaking new radio, the IC-705.

The AL-705 operates on the 10 to 40 metre Amateur radio bands.
The antenna's compact design allows it to be stored in the lower section of our LC-192 backpack for easy storage and transportation.

Once deployed, the antenna's maximum diameter of 26.5 inches or just over 67.3 cms, means it is easy to manipulate and mount conveniently wherever needed.

Maximum power handling is 20 Watts SSB, 10 Watts CW & Digital.

The AL-705 comes with 15 feet/4.57 metres of feedline, with BNC and PL-259 connectors.

The AL-705 will be available for sale from authorised Icom Amateur radio dealers from November 2020!

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

TUESDAY EDITION: Brits have to stop playing with fireworks. How the hell did we survive childhood in the 50-60's? I never blew any fingers off with M80's, copper match stick pipe bombs, shooting my .22, bb gun, bow and arrow, and carving with boy scout knife at 8-10 years old without adult supervision. I did get a few stitches from the propeller on my U-Control gas motor one day not paying attention, imagine giving a kid today a glow plug motor for Christmas? (oops, I forgot I can't say Christmas anymore)


This link will take you to an NPR clip of the story behind KDKR. It features K4HU and W1HVA who were my friends long ago.Well worth listening to.

Constructing the First 'Real' Radio Station

A look at the technical side of 1920 KDKA

By James E. O'Neal

KDKA BroadcastCenter
Fig. 1: This photo of KDKA's first broadcast center offers some detail about the in-house manufactured 100-Watt transmitter used for the Nov. 2, 1920 broadcast. A six-volt lead-acid car battery behind the rig likely provided tube filament voltage.

Much has been written about the program, performers and setting of KDKA’s big broadcast” of Nov. 2, 1920, including our recent story “Radio Broadcasting Becomes a Reality,” but precious little is documented about the technical aspects of the equipment package that made it possible.

With the aid of detailed photographs; magazine articles about the station and its progenitor Frank Conrad; and a published account by an eye/ear-witness to what transpired, it’s possible to piece together many of the missing details.

Perhaps most useful is a 1955 American Heritage article by Donald Little, a Westinghouse engineer who helped to construct that first KDKA transmitter.

“During the fall of 1920, Dr. Conrad had me design and help the model shop at the works build the transmitter. The transmitter had a power of about 100 watts. They built a room on the roof of one of the taller buildings at the East Pittsburgh works and put up an antenna and counterpoise from a steel pole on that building over to one of the powerhouse smokestacks. The antenna and transmitter were completed only a few days before the presidential election of November 2, 1920.”

The association between Little and Conrad extended back some three years when Little, who had been working for what was then called the National Bureau of Standards (now the Institute of Standards and Technology) was dispatched from Washington to East Pittsburgh to oversee the development and production of transmitters and receivers by Westinghouse for the U.S. Signal Corps.

(While Little consistently refers back to “Dr. Conrad,” it was not until 1928 that the University of Pittsburgh bestowed an honorary doctor of science degree upon Conrad.)


No schematic diagram or construction details of the Westinghouse “broadcast” transmitter exist. Based on the “state of the art” at the time, coupled with knowledge of the radiotelephone rig constructed by Conrad for his ham station, it doubtless employed the “constant current” system of modulation developed earlier by Western Electric’s Raymond Heising.

The radiotelephone transmitter Conrad constructed for his amateur radio station is documented in a Sept. 1920 article in amateur radio publication, QST. It’s believed that the one constructed at Westinghouse was more or less a scaled-up version (100 Watts output versus the 50 stated for the ham station rig).

conrad's 1920s radiotelephone transmitter
Fig. 2: Although no circuit diagram can be located for the 100-Watt transmitter, this drawing, based on a published partial schematic of Conrad’s ham station “radiophone” transmitter, is probably representative of its inner workings. (The resistor and capacitor values shown were shown in the ham rig circuit.) It’s likely the modulator and power oscillator tubes were doubled (parallel-connected pairs) to deliver the 100 Watts claimed for the KDKA transmitter.

Conr (and Little) would have employed state-of-the-art power triodes developed by General Electric and manufactured by Westinghouse’s “lamp works” during the First World War, when patent and licensing issues had been temporarily tossed aside to ensure a plentiful supply of “strategic materials.”

Lud Sibley, a vacuum tube expert and editor of the publication Tube Collector, opines that the power oscillator was likely “the humble AT-50, Westinghouse’s production of GE’s UV-211.”

Sibley also believes that Westinghouse’s AT-21 (equivalent to a GE UV-203A) could have served admirably as the modulator.

If these tubes were used in paralleled configurations, the transmitter could have easily delivered 100 Watts of modulated RF.

It appears from one of the surviving pictures of the rig that filaments may have been heated with pure DC from an automobile storage battery. (It’s likely that the battery was cadontinuously “float charged” to ensure that the heavy filament current drain didn’t deplete it before the broadcast ended.) Three “brick” type dry cell batteries are visible behind the transmitter and just to the right of the six-Volt storage battery. These could have served as a source of bias voltage for the triodes, and due to the size and number, also as a plate voltage for the transmitter’s “speech amplifier” (audio input stage),

The picture of the radio room, sans people, also sheds some light on the high voltage supply for the power tube anodes.

Immediately to the right of the transmitter panel board, a heavy-duty pushbutton switch is visible. It’s safe to assume that this controlled a motor-generator set located remotely so that its very audible operating noise didn’t get transmitted along with the election commentary. (Later, Westinghouse manufactured a line of motor-generators for broadcast transmitter applications, as I described in my 2011 Radio World article “How Transmitter Power Supplies Evolved.”)

A more comprehensive description of the KDKA transmitting antenna — at least as it existed less than two years after the 1920 broadcast — was offered by Little in a 1922 article in Radio News about the station’s technical facilities:

“[It consists of six wires] 90 feet in length on 20 foot spreaders. This antenna is supported 210 feet above the ground by a brick smoke stack at one end and by a 100-foot pipe mast on a nine-story building at the other end. A counterpoise [elevated radial] which is a duplicate of the antenna in construction is placed 110 feet beneath the antenna. The down lead from the antenna and the counterpoise lead are made up of eight strands of No. 14 copper wire equally placed around 1.5 in. diameter wooden spacers. The natural period of this aerial system is approximately 412 meters. A condenser … in series with the antenna and sufficient loading inductance [was] added to obtain the desired wave length of 360 meters.”

Conrad used a similar antenna/counterpoise system at his ham station.

The microphone was essentially a telephone “transmitter” (carbon mic) backed up by the necessary battery and a one-stage triode pre-amplifier, most likely the newly developed UX-201, which later, along with a lower filament current version, the UX-201A, became the tube of choice for many 1920s commercial and homebrew receivers.


The transmitter room picture does present something of a mystery.

A windup phonograph was used as a source of “fill” music so there would be no dead air when announcer Rosenberg was waiting for election results to be updated; in the photo from that night it can be seen to the right of the transmitter panel, its crank visible next to John Frazier as seen in Fig. 4.

KDKA first broadcast (detail)
Fig. 4: A detail from the promotional photo of the historic broadcast that we showed you in an earlier article. Visible below John Frazier’s chin is the crank of a windup phonograph used to play fill music. Announcer Leo Rosenberg is at left. (Getty Images)

What makes this otherwise nondescript record player interesting is a length of “twisted-pair” lamp cord that connected the transmitter to an object (electrical phonograph pickup?) attached to the “arm” on the phono. The cord is visible in Fig. 5.

close-up of phonograph arm and “pickup” in KDKA radio room
Fig. 5: Closeup of phonograph arm and pickup in the radio room in Fig. 1. Did Donald Little invent and fabricate the first transducer for turning record grove modulations into a varying voltage? Others had placed a mic in front of a phonograph’s horn or graphed a microphone element onto a portion of the phonograph’s acoustical linkage (tube) between the diaphragm and horn. (Getty Images)

History tells us that the first electrically recorded records (and electrical pickups for reproducing them) didn’t appear until 1925, stemming from research at Western Electric and Bell Labs.

Did Conrad and Little somehow jump the gun and invent an electrical pickup half a decade before Bell?

In his 1955 writing about the 1920 inaugural broadcast, Little seems to clear up this mystery:

“It was thought that election news would not occupy the whole time so a hand-wound, spring-driven phonograph and a selection of records were provided for fill-in purposes. I arrived at the station about 6 P.M. the night of November 2, 1920, in plenty of time to be sure all would be in readiness to start the program at, as I remember it, 8 P.M. To my dismay, I found that the gooseneck of the phonograph tone arm had disappeared. It was never found and to this day I do not know whether it was maliciously stolen or simply mislaid accidently. It was obviously up to me to provide some sort of substitute which I did by rushing down to our laboratory and putting together a clamp and hinge gadget that hinged the microphone to the tone arm. It was quite satisfactory and was used for the opening program and several later ones.”

What Little cobbled up that evening may have been much more complex, however.

A careful examination of a blowup of the phono portion of the photo indicates that Little may have manufactured a true “electrical” pickup.

Clearly visible is an “outrigger” bar with a clamp for the microphone that has been attached to the phono horn’s acoustic coupling “stub,” with the “stub” only serving to support Little’s contrivance above the record grooves and allow it to track across the record.

Seen at the bottom of the device are a chuck and a thumbscrew for holding the “needle” (stylus). Quite prominent in the photo is a “U”-shaped rod that appears to be used for coupling needle movement to the microphone element.

I don’t claim expertise on early mechanical (acoustic) phonographs, but the conventional “diaphragm” that was coupled to the needle and translated needle movement to sound pressure waves “amplified” by the phono’s horn (actually an acoustic transformer) is not visible in this photo.

I shared the photo with a restorer and conservator of early recording and reproduction apparatus. He said, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

If the device that Little fabricated was really a carbon mic driven directly by the needle, the audio reproduction of the recordings would have been considerably better than that achieved previously by just placing the mic in front of the phono horn. (It would have also prevented pickup of conversations and other background noise in the radio room while the records were played.)

I leave it to others to decide exactly what did or didn’t happen in this respect.

The author thanks Rick Harris, chairman of the Conrad Project at the National Museum of Broadcasting, for his help with this article.

[Related: “What, Exactly, Was ‘First’ About KDKA?”]

New amateur radio book

Hi, I am very pleased to announce the release of my 6th ham radio book, Testing 12  Measuring amateur radio performance on a budget.

It is available from Amazon and on Kindle. The book is about amateur radio performance checks that you can do at home without investing a lot of your hard-earned cash. Using new products from the Internet and free software in place of expensive test equipment.

Later sections fully describe the more advanced testing methods that the professionals perform, which require a more serious investment in equipment.

Great value at 368 pages. There are step by step instructions and a wealth of useful information.

73 Andrew ZL3DW


RSGB seeks records of complaints about on-air behaviour

The RSGB has been trying to quantify the size of the problem and recently made a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to Ofcom asking for the number of reports that had been submitted

See the RSGB post at

You can read Ofcom's response to the RSGB FoI request at

Mobile firms to be banned from selling ‘locked’ handsets

Mobile phone companies will be banned from selling ‘locked’ handsets, under a range of new rules from Ofcom that will make switching even simpler.

Some companies – including BT/EE, Tesco Mobile and Vodafone – still sell mobile phones that cannot be used on other networks unless they are unlocked, a potentially complicated process which can also cost around £10. Ofcom research has found that more than a third (35%) of people who decided against switching said this put them off.

So following consultation, we have confirmed that mobile companies will be banned from selling locked phones – allowing people to move to a different network with their existing handset, hassle-free. The new rules will come in from December 2021.

The ban on selling locked handsets is part of a broad package of measures Ofcom is introducing to make switching easier and help ensure customers are treated fairly, most of which reflect new European rules. This also includes:

  • new rules that mean telecoms customers will get a summary of the main terms of their contract in writing – before they sign up; and
  • changes to our accreditation scheme for price comparison tools, to make sure the information provided by these services is trustworthy, impartial and transparent – while still allowing them to innovate.

MONDAY EDITION: What else could happen in 2020? Murder hornets.....Search for Titanic and legal case....Goes to show, there is an ass for every seat.....

A dark streak just appeared on Mars

Amateur astronomers are monitoring something new on Mars. A dark streak has just appeared near one of the Red Planet's giant extinct volcanoes, Arsia Mons.

It appears to be a cloud, but the jury's still out.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for images and more information

ICQPodcast - HF-PRO-2-PLUS-T Antenna Review

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Ed Durrant DD5LP, Frank Howell K4FMH and Bill Barnes WC3B to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s features is HF-PRO-2-PLUS-T Antenna Review by Ed Durrant DD5LP.


We would like to thank David Reid (W6KL) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -
• Mass Amateur Radio Balloon Launch by USA Schools
• Sale of Amateur Radio AMPRnet TCP/IP Addresses Raised $108M
• ARRL Comments in Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding
• Radio Ham Attacked in UK
• Orlando HamCation Postponed
• New Zealand 5 MHz Amateur Band Usage Ceases
• Malta added to CEPT Radio Amateur Licence

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

Jac Holzman K2VEH in Rolling Stone

Radio Amateur Jac Holzman K2VEH who founded Elektra Records and signed The Doors is featured in Rolling Stone

The article has a good picture of Jac at home in 1956 with his ham radio and audio equipment.

89-year-old Jac, legend of the music industry, and tech pioneer — passes on his hard-won wisdom in this rare interview.

Read the Rolling Stones story at

Email from Scott- W1XER:

Yes the Lizzie Bourne monument was there last year when the Bride and I took the Cog to the summit. The gent in the background is sitting on a Devils Shingle, see the story below.

At the end of the long work day each evening, many track workers descended on slideboards known as Devil's Shingles. Little more than a narrow plank of wood that rode on the center rack track, each homemade contraption was fitted with a seat, foot rests and hand brakes designed to grip the overhanging lip of the rack. The average trip from summit to base station took about 15 minutes, but boys being boys, competitive descents soon became common. The record time was 2 minutes 45 seconds at an average speed of 60 mph!

Eventually, however, the state of New Hampshire (the "live free or die" state) outlawed the use of the Devil's Shingles, apparently because way too many workers were living free and dying on them! 

Peru to sell amateur radio frequencies

BNamericas reports Peru’s Ministry for Transport and Communications (MTC) plans to sell-off amateur radio frequencies in the 3.3-3.8 GHz band for 5G mobile

BNamericas note the spectrum was used by Radio Amateurs and radiolocation and say:

In a ruling published last week, however, MTC modified the national frequency allocation plan to allow carriers to provide some services other than those originally assigned for the spectrum.

Peru expects to launch a spectrum tender for 5G technology in the first half of next year, awarding frequencies in the 3.3GHz-3.8GHz range (3.5GHz band) and the 24.2GHz-25.5GHz range (26GHz band).

Read the BNamericas story at

QSO Today - Keith Schlottman - KR7RK

Keith Schlottman, KR7RK, is not only a mountain goat, he is also a super sloth.

Terms like this are not endearing, however if you are a SOTA activator or chaser, then you know how important these terms are to SOTA, Summits on the Air, operators.

KR7RK tells his ham radio story in this QSO Today

Listen to the podcast

Japan looking at amateur radio rule change

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is holding a public consultation on revisions to Radio Law Enforcement Regulations to enable elementary and junior high school students to experience the enjoyment of amateur radio

A translation of the JARL post says:

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has solicited opinions on the draft ministerial ordinance to partially revise the Radio Law Enforcement Regulations to utilize amateur radio in social contribution activities and expand the opportunities for elementary and junior high school students to experience amateur radio. The consultation is being held from October 16 to November 17.

The main pillars of this amendment are "utilization of amateur radio in social contribution activities" and "expansion of opportunities for elementary and junior high school students to experience amateur radio", and they play an important role in the region, such as securing communications in the disaster area. Based on the operational results of amateur radio that have been fulfilled so far, the area of amateur radio, such as volunteer activities in the event of an emergency disaster and regional activities against the background of mutual assistance in measures such as the national and local governments.

Although the Amateur Radio Experience Station was institutionalized in April this year to enable social contribution, in order to further expand the base of IoT human resources, qualified people at home and school Under the direction and presence, the system will be reviewed so that unqualified elementary and junior high school students can experience the utilization and enjoyment of radio waves in their daily lives.

Regarding this request for opinions, on October 5, JARL Chairman Yoshinori Takao and Chairman JARD Tetsuya Miki submitted a request to Director Yoshiaki Takeuchi of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications General Communication Infrastructure Bureau regarding efforts related to amateur radio social contribution activities. The review of the system has been promoted, and JARL will continue to ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to realize this review of the system as soon as possible.

KDKA Centennial-The birth of Commercial Radio

November 2, 2020 marks the centennial of radio station KDKA going on the air for the first time. Their first broadcast, considered by many to be the birth of commercial broadcast radio, was to report the election results of the Harding-Cox presidential race. KDKA has been on the air continuously ever since.

To celebrate this historic milestone, Pittsburgh area amateur radio operators, also known as hams, will take to the airwaves with a series of special event stations. Their goal is to contact as many other ham radio operators across the United States and around the world. They will be celebrating the centennial of KDKA for the entire month of November.

KDKA originally began operations in 1916 as an amateur radio station, call sign 8XK, operated by Dr. Frank Conrad, Assistant Chief Engineer of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. During World War I, amateur radio operations were ordered to be suspended because of national security concerns. After the war, the operators reorganized the station as a commercial AM radio station. The first transmissions of KDKA were from a makeshift studio on a roof of the Westinghouse K Building in East Pittsburgh.

Ham radio clubs participating in the centennial special event include the North Hills Amateur Radio Club in Pittsburgh, which is planning to operate from II-VI Incorporated located in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, the former KDKA transmitter site from 1931 to 1939. One of the original tower piers still stands on the property to this day. Another operating location is being planned at the Westinghouse Lodge in Forest Hills, located about ten miles east in suburban Pittsburgh, which was the former KDKA transmitter site from 1923 to 1930.

Other Pittsburgh area ham radio clubs planning operations include the Panther Amateur Radio Club in addition to a joint operation planned between the Steel City Amateur Radio Club and the Wireless Association of South Hills. Outside of Pittsburgh, other ham radio clubs planning operations are The Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, which will operate from their clubhouse, in addition to the Butler County Amateur Radio Public Servce Group in Butler, Pennsylvania, and the Washington Amateur Communications Radio Club in Washington, Pennsylvania. Individual radio amateurs will also be operating from their home stations. In addition, there is a small group of ham radio operators planning portable field operations from South Park in suburban Pittsburgh.

“More than one hundred years ago, many experimenters started delving into a new technology known as wireless, or radio,” said Bob Bastone, WC3O, Radio Officer for the Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Bastone explained that many of those early pioneers were radio amateurs. “One hundred plus years later, many amateur radio operators are still contributing to wireless technology while also serving their communities and enhancing international goodwill. Congratulations to KDKA Radio, also known in the early years as amateur radio stations 8XK, 8ZZ, and W8XK.”

Bastone said that the special event stations will exchange post cards, called QSL cards, with hams who confirm radio contacts with them.
A commemorative QSL card has been produced with artwork designed by the graphic arts department at KDKA Radio. “We amateur radio operators look forward to contacting thousands of other hams around the world to celebrate this huge milestone in the commercial broadcasting industry,” said Bastone.

The KDKA amateur radio special event stations, operating with call signs K3A, K3D, K3K, and W8XK will be set up at several locations in Pennsylvania during November, inviting the public to come visit while observing the required social distancing protocols. “The special event stations will also help demonstrate ham radio to our communities while our volunteers practice operating skills and station readiness,” said Robert Mente, NU3Q, Emergency Coordinator for the Allegheny County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). He and his fellow volunteers log many hours each year providing public service and practicing their emergency communications capability. The group provides communication services for The Pittsburgh Marathon, Race for the Cure, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, the Great Race, and the American Diabetes Tour de Cure in addition to providing communication support for the American Red Cross and the Pittsburgh National Weather Service office.

For more information about the KDKA centennial and a schedule for the ham radio special event stations including locations, operating frequencies, and how to obtain a commemorative certificate, visit www.kdka100.org and www.qrz.com/db/w8xk. Information is also available in the Special Events Station section both on the ARRL website and in QST Magazine.

We wish to thank II-VI (pronounced two-six) for the use of their corporate facilities in Saxonburg, PA, on the very site where KDKA used to broadcast from for most of the 1930s. II-VI is a global leader in engineered materials and optoelectronic components. For nearly 50 years, they have manufactured innovative products for applications in the industrial, communications, aerospace & defense, life sciences, semiconductor capital equipment, automotive, and consumer markets. Learn more at ii-vi.com.

WEEKEND EDITION: NH guys, is the Lizzie Bourne monument still up there?  ....   BSA on the air report.....What's up in space?....Remember an old HRO ad from 1980.....DYSON makes one hell of a vacumn to do this....

"Lizzie Bourne monument, Mount Washington, White Mountains, New Hampshire." Miss Bourne, who succumbed to exposure, was just a few hundred feet from the summit house when she expired on that blustery September night in 1855.

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Antenna testing in the field

If you've been around amateur radio for any time at all, you'll know that we spend an awful lot of time talking about antennas. How they work, where to get them, how to build them, how strong they are, how cheap they are, how effective, how resonant, you name it, we have a discussion about it.

It might not be immediately obvious why this is the case. An antenna is an antenna, right?

Well ... no.

Just like the infinite variety of cars on the road, the unending choice of mobile phones, ways to cook an egg and clothes to wear to avoid getting wet, antennas are designed and built for a specific purpose. I've talked at length about these variations, but in summary we can alter the dimensions to alter characteristics like frequency responsiveness, gain, weight, cost and a myriad of other parameters.

If we take a step back and look at two antennas, let's say a vertical and a horizontal dipole, we immediately see that the antennas are physically different, even if they're intended for exactly the same frequency range. Leaving cost and construction aside, how do you compare these two antennas in a meaningful way?

In the past I've suggested that you use a coax switch, a device that allows you to switch between two connectors and feed one or the other into your radio.

If you do this, you can select first one antenna, then the other and listen to their differences. If the difference is large enough, you'll be able to hear and some of the time it's absolutely obvious how they differ. You might find that a station on the other side of the planet is much stronger on one antenna than on the other, or that the noise level on one is much higher than the other. Based on the one measurement you might come to the conclusion that one antenna is "better" than the other.

If you did come to this conclusion, I can almost guarantee that you're wrong.

Why can I say this?

Because one of the aspects of the better antenna is dependent on something that you cannot control, the ionosphere, and it is changing all the time.

I have previously suggested that you listen to your antenna over the length of a day and notice how things change, but that is both time consuming and not very repeatable, nor does it give you anything but a fuzzy warm feeling, rather than an at least passing scientific comparison.

A much more effective way is to set up your station, configure it to monitor WSPR, or Weak Signal Propagation Reporter transmissions using one antenna, for say a week, then doing it again with the other antenna.

If you do this for long enough you can gather actual meaningful data to determine how your antenna performs during different conditions. You can use that knowledge to make more reliable choices when you're attempting to make contact with a rare station, or when it's 2 o'clock in the morning and you're trying to get another multiplier for the current contest.

You don't even have to do anything different and spend little or no money on the testing and data gathering.

You can do this with your normal radio and your computer running WSJT-X, or with a single board computer like a raspberry pi and an external DVB-T tuner, a so-called RTL-SDR dongle, or with an all-in-one ready-made piece of hardware that integrates all of this into a single circuit board.

If you want to get really fancy, you can even use automatic antenna switching to change antennas multiple times an hour and see in real-time what is going on.

You also don't have to wait until you have two antennas to compare. You can do this on a field day when you get together with friends who bring their own contraptions to the party.

If there's any doubt in your mind, you can start with a piece of wire sticking out the back of a dongle. I know, I'm looking at one right now. I've been receiving stations across the planet.

One thing I can guarantee is that the more you do this, the better you'll get a feel for how the bands change over time and how to go about selecting the right antenna for the job at the time.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Thank God it was a concept car

         TRAVELERS and sportsmen who would like to park their cars after a day's drive and set up camp by pushing a few magic buttons, may be able one day to do just that.   VIDEO

        With the "pushbutton camper," a specially equipped experimental Ford station wagon, a traveling couple could pull into a parking area, lower a boat from the roof top, pitch their tent and set up a kitchen unit protected by an overhead awning -- almost without getting out of the car.

        One push button lifts the boat and swings it over the side so it can be easily removed for launching. A car-top tent, containing a full-sized double bed, already made up and equipped with a reading lamp, is erected by another button.

        After the tailgate is opened, a third button slides out the compact kitchen unit complete with an electric refrigerator and two-burner stove, a work table and meat cutting block, and a sink with hot and cold running water.

        The roof compartment also houses a shower head, complete with curtain. Ford has no definite plans for mass producing such a vehicle. If consumer demand warranted it, a company official said, the automatic equipment could be produced by independent suppliers and installed by a Ford dealer.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report


NEIL/ANCHOR: We begin this week with word that the comment period has opened for the FCC's much-talked-about fee proposed for amateur radio licenses. Stephen Kinford N8WB has more.

STEPHEN: The comment period has opened for amateur radio operators and others in the United States to weigh in the FCC's proposal to charge a $50 fee for license applications and renewals due every 10 years. In its notice published in the Federal Register, the FCC states that licenses, such as those for amateur radio, are mostly automated processes not requiring staff review. As such, the FCC is calling the proposed fee "nominal," saying it covers the costs of routine ULS maintenance, the automated process itself plus any occasional instance requiring staff input. Comments are due no later than the 16th of November. Reply comments can be made on or before November 30th.

To file your comments visit the webpage for the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System at fcc dot gov stroke ecfs stroke (fcc.gov/ecfs/)



NEIL/ANCHOR: In IARU Region 1, the chair of the Youth Working Group has passed the baton, as we hear from Ed Durrant DD5LP.

ED: By the time the IARU Region 1 Virtual General Conference closed on Friday October 16th, the leader of the organisation's Youth Working Group had passed the baton to the next generation. The youth group's chair, Lisa Leenders PA2LS, ended her tenure which had begun when the region-wide working group was formed in 2014. Lisa, who was 24 at the time, steps aside for two new leaders elected by the member societies at the conference: Philipp Springer DK6SP, the new chair, and Markus Großer DL8GM, the vice chair. Philipp, who is 22 years old, has been a ham since he was 10. In August he joined the board of directors of the nonprofit World Wide Radio Operators Foundation.

The two new Youth Working Group leaders committed themselves to continuing the Working Group's programmes and moving them forward. They pledged to expand the YOTA program as well and help grow youth activities in the IARU's two other regions.

Region 1 represents international amateur radio societies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Meanwhile, the world's young amateurs have been busy. We are just about a month away from December but it's worth planning ahead for this event - it involves the world's youngest radio amateurs and they're looking for your show of support and your entry in their logbook. December is YOTA Month - that means Youngsters on the Air. It's time for young people to experience their first DX, their first pileup or to show some of their friends who aren't yet licensed amateurs how much fun it is to key that mic.

YOTA is asking radio operators around the world to be listening for such stations as HA6YOTA, GB20YOTA, DB0YOTA, HS9YOTA and others who will be using the YOTA suffix and one by one callsigns ending in Y, O, T, and A from the United States. You can be a youngster OR an oldster. Just be listening!



NEIL/ANCHOR: Remember last week's big balloon launch by students from around the United States? Well those balloons just gained some company up in the sky. Boy Scouts in Indiana did a launch as part of Jamboree on the Air - and Andy Morrison K9AWM shares those details.

ANDY: Boy Scout Troop 1 in Jeffersonville Indiana places a special emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills. So when the scouts hosted their local council's Jamboree on the Air event on Saturday, October 17th, they naturally had everything down to a science. Or perhaps - UP - to a science is a more accurate description: In addition to making HF contacts, fox-hunting and playing Morse Code games, the scouts launched lightweight helium balloons, each carrying a payload of no more than 13 grams. Now they're tracking them using APRS in the hopes they can follow the planned circumnavigation of the Earth in the jet stream. Using the callsign N9BWT-12, the balloons transmit their location every two minutes.

The project is nothing new to this science-minded group of scouts. During last year's JOTA event, the lightweight balloon made its way around the world one and three-quarter times before it was lost in a thunderstorm in southern California.


NEIL/ANCHOR: For members of the Straight Key Century Club, the competition's in the cards - the QSL cards, that is. Skeeter Nash N5ASH explains.

SKEETER: CW enthusiasts who've had their fill of sprints, QSO Parties, marathons and other on-air contests are being invited to take their competitive spirits off the air for a little while and express themselves with something other than their straight keys. This is a QSL Card contest and it's for members of the Straight Key Century Club, which is marking its 15th anniversary in 2021.

Members are being asked to provide designs for QSL cards to be used during the club's annual Straight Key Month, which begins on January 2nd 2021. The call sign for the event is, once again, K3Y.

If you belong to the club and have an idea for a catchy card, submit your entry no later than December 14th. Members will vote online for their favorite designs starting on December 15th. The most popular design is the one that gets the distinction of being the official K3Y QSL card for Straight Key Month. Even if you don't win the top honors, if your QSL card lands among the top 12 in popularity, it will be among those featured in the club's printed calendar for the new year.

Members of the Straight Key Century Club should send their images to Drew at AF2Z at skccgroup.com (drew@skccgroup.com)


NEIL/ANCHOR: Attention TV fans, Tim Allen KK6OTD is going QRT on the Fox Network. The American TV sitcom "Last Man Standing" will begin its ninth and final season on the network early next year. The Fox network has carried the series since May 2018, following its cancellation by ABC a year earlier. The show features Tim as amateur radio operator Mike Baxter KA0XTT.

Producer John Amodeo AA6JA told Newsline in an email that cast and crew are now in the process of shooting 21 shows to begin airing in January. All is not lost, however: As John noted, even after Season 9 is done, the show's 194 episodes will live on in syndication.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Only a few weeks remain for teachers and other educators to be a part of the next series of radio contacts with the International Space Station. Here's Paul Braun, WD9GCO with those details.

PAUL: If you are an educator or part of an educational organization, this is a reminder that you only have a little more than a month to apply for a ham radio contact with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The proposal window closes on the 24th of November. Contacts are now being planned to take place between July 1st and December 30th of next year. ARISS is looking in particular for organizations that will attract a high number of participants and intend to use the experience as part of a larger education plan.

Visit the website ariss dot org (ariss.org) for more details and to find a proposal form.


NEIL/ANCHOR: In the UK, authorities are looking for four men who assaulted an amateur operating portable. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has that story.

JEREMY: Police in Gloucestershire are looking for information about the assault on a ham who was operating portable last month near Cheltenham. The amateur, whose name and call sign were not made public, was attacked by four men who accused him of spying on them and recording them. A report in the Gloucester Echo said the ham was operating portable from Cleeve Common near Cheltenham at 9:20 on the evening of September 8th.

The report did not say whether the man, who is in his fifties, required medical attention. Police said the assailants left the scene in a Land Rover.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Most of us know about electrical conductors, such as cables and electrical lines. They carry electricity but, of course, it comes at a price: some of that energy is lost due to resistance. Now a group of New York researchers is saying things don't necessarily have to be that way. Scientists at the University of Rochester say they have created a superconductor that has no resistance - and unlike most other superconductors, can operate at room temperature instead of needing to be cooled.

According to an October 15th article posted on the Popular Mechanics website, this superconductor combines the right amount of pressure with the elements that bond readily. The scientists have squeezed sulphur, carbon, and hydrogen—carbonaceous sulphur hydride in a diamond anvil, which exerts nearly 300 gigapascals of pressure. Therein lies the catch: that pressure is the equivalent of about 3 million times the Earth's ambient air pressure.

The researchers next task, then, is to tinker with the chemical mix and see if they can take some of that pressure off.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Actress Hedy Lamarr was as noted for her performances as her penchant for inventing in the realm of radio. There's a party for her on Echolink - and Jim Damron N8TMW tells us about it.

JIM: Among radio enthusiasts and fellow tinkerers, the late actress Hedy Lamarr deserved her name up in lights for reasons that had nothing to do with Hollywood. An inventor with a penchant for technology the star is credited with helping develop a patented radio signaling device used during the Second World War that years later led to GPS, Bluetooth, increased security on mobile phones and Wi-Fi. In 1997 - just three years before her death at the age of 85 - she was given the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award.

On Monday, November 9th, which would have been her 106th birthday, the Echolink ROC-HAM Conference Server is hosting Hedy Lamarr Day with a four-hour net. Four YL net controllers will be taking check-ins and celebrating her accomplishments. The net will also be accessible on the DODROPIN Conference Server Node 355800.

For just a short while, Hedy Lamarr will also be back on the screen - the small screen in this case. Organizer John DeRycke W2JLD told Newsline that the event will be streamed on YouTube's World Amateur Radio Day channel. It will also be heard on Broadcastify.

Be watching Netlogger - and be listening on EchoLink -- for the call sign N9H and visit the QRZ page for details about a special event QSL card.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Congratulations to the newest hams across the Pond in the UK. A Twitter announcement by the Radio Society of Great Britain reports that 2,000 hams have passed their Foundation exams via remote invigilation. Big congrats as well to the 268 amateurs who were able to upgrade to Intermediate level in the same manner. The remote exams were put in place in April in response to the pandemic.



In the World of DX, members of the Azuay Radio Club HC5ARC will be operating as HD200C from Cuenca, Ecuador between the 31st of October and the 3rd of November. They are marking the 200th anniversary of the independence of the city of Cuenca. If you make a minimum of three QSOs on different bands or modes, you will be eligible for an award. For details visit QRZ.COM.

Be listening for Ron, VA3RVK, who will be on the air in Canada as XL3T between October 24th and November 24th. Ron is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the ending of World War II and the Canadian Liberation. Be listening for him as well as CJ3T on November 28th. QSL for both callsigns to VE3AT.

Jim, W2JHP, is active until November 8th as V31TA from Turneffe Atoll in Belize. He will be on various HF bands using SSB and perhaps some digital modes. He is using 100 watts and a wire in a palm tree. Send QSLs to EA5GL, direct, LoTW or eQSL.
oned ham can run without so much as breaking a sweat. Congratulations Bob, for helping keep everyone in the running


On Saturday (24 Oct) the British Amateur Television Club is hosting a virtual meet up to celebrate all things amateur television.

Club members will have already been emailed a link with details of how to register and participate in the online workshops.

CAT20 starts at 10am and includes a series of talks including the club’s hugely popular Portsdown digital TV transmitter and its companion set top box receiver, the Ryde.

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned ATVer there will be something for everyone in this fascinating exciting part of the hobby.

Non members are very welcome to watch the proceedings for free which will be streamed live at

NZ 5 MHz Amateur Band usage - ceases

NZART, the New Zealand National Amateur Society advises that unfortunately the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has advised us that they are not willing to approve another renewal of our 5 MHz trial allocation/licence.


Although the trial is over (and all transmissions on the trial frequencies must cease), NZART will continue to work with RSM (the regulator) to see if there are other ways of providing New Zealand Amateurs with access to 5 MHz frequencies.

Don Wallace ZL2TLL
NZART Administration Liaison Officer

New optical communications station

The University of Western Australia is set to install an optical communications station capable of receiving high-speed data transmissions from space.

The communications station will be able to receive data from spacecraft from anywhere between low-Earth orbit, i.e. between 160km and 1000km above planet green to as far away as the surface of the moon - some 384,000 km.

Dr Sascha Schediwy, Astrophotonics Group leader at UWA and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy, said optical communications are an emerging alternative to radio waves and are expected to drastically improve data transfer capabilities from space.

Data from the station will then be fed to Goonhillys supercomputer data centre in England by high-speed fibre.

The ground station is expected to be operational from as early as next year (2021).


THURSDAY EDITION: Slow start, I will update during the day.... Say goodbye to the Super Cobra....GMC's new Hummer is electric and sports 1000hp....

Why radio amateurs are called "HAMS"
(from Florida Skip Magazine - 1959)

Have you ever wondered why radio amateurs are called "HAMS?" Well, it goes like this: The word "HAM" as applied to 1908 was the station CALL of the first amateur wireless stations operated by some amateurs of the Harvard Radio Club. They were ALBERT S. HYMAN, BOB ALMY and POOGIE MURRAY.

At first they called their station "HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY". Tapping out such a long name in code soon became tiresome and called for a revision. They changed it to "HY-AL-MU," using the first two letters of each of their names. Early in 1901 some confusion resulted between signals from amateur wireless station "HYALMU" and a Mexican ship named "HYALMO." They then decided to use only the first letter of each name, and the station CALL became "HAM."

In the early pioneer days of unregulated radio amateur operators picked their own frequency and call-letters. Then, as now, some amateurs had better signals than commercial stations. The resulting interference came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington and Congress gave much time to proposed legislation designed to critically limit amateur radio activity. In 1911 ALBERT HYMAN chose the controversial WIRELESS REGULATION BILL as the topic for his Thesis at Harvard. His instructor insisted that a copy be sent to Senator DAVID I. WALSH, a member of one of the committees hearing the Bill. The Senator was so impressed with the thesis is that he asked HYMAN to appear before the committee. ALBERT HYMAN took the stand and described how the little station was built and almost cried when he told the crowded committee room that if the BILL went through that they would have to close down the station because they could not afford the license fees and all the other requirements which the BILL imposed on amateur stations.

Congressional debate began on the WIRELESS REGULATION BILL and little station "HAM" became the symbol for all the little amateur stations in the country crying to be saved from the menace and greed of the big commercial stations who didn't want them around. The BILL finally got to the floor of Congress and every speaker talked about the "...poor little station HAM." That's how it all started. You will find the whole story in the Congressional Record.

Nation-wide publicity associated station ""HAM" with amateur radio operators. From that day to this, and probably until the end of time in radio an amateur is a "HAM."

Moroccan special event

Members of a Moroccan radio group will be active as 5E1EC to commemorate the 40th day since the passing of Boumehdi El Moujahid, CN8EC, between October 23-31st.

The group states that this is a tribute to an individual who was passionate and devoted to radio activity as well as a role model in ethics, a true leader and was admired by many of his colleagues.

Operators mentioned are Kacem/CN8LR, Abdelghani/ CN8AM, Hassan/CN8SG, Mohamed/CN8KD, Azeddine/CN8PG, Mohamed/CN8AAD, Atmane/ CN8ATM, Mohamed/CN8PA, Saaid/CN8WW and Kaoukab/CN8QR.

QSL via RW6HS.

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I hear a few of the old regular rabblerousers have surfaced on 14313, any have info?.... Land of the free, home of the offended?.....First seven trainees to directly enlist in Space Force sworn-in ....Thousands of flying squirrels captured in Florida, trafficked with estimated $1M worth, officials say ...

FOR SALE: Mint gear for sale, I am upgrading. Icom 7600  matching Icom PS, Acom 1010 Amp, Tentec 238 2KW tuner, contact me if interested before I put it online. Perfect in every way, original boxes, manuals.....no dumbass stickers on the amp or tuner,  no food stains or coffee cup stains on the transceiver, never stored out in the rear shed, no dings, dents, scrapes, strange odors, or mold.... K1TP

The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov WX6SWW

A LITLE HUMOR: An old cowboy walks into the barbershop for a shave and a haircut and he tells the barber he can’t get all his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age.

The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells the old cowboy to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.

When he’s finished, the old cowboy tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’s had in years.

But he wanted to know what would have happened if he had swallowed that little ball.

The barber replied, “Just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does.”

Successful mine rescue special event

Members of the Radio Club de Copiapo are now active as XR33M between now and November 13th. Activity is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the successful rescue of the 33 miners in the "San José" mine in Chile.

Look for operations to be on 80-6 meters using CW, SSB, SSTV, FT4/FT8, PSK and RTTY.

Stations that make contact with XR33M will receive their special commemorative QSL via the Bureau once the activity is completed.
If you prefer to receive your QSL directly, you can do so through QSL Manager LZ1JZ

CQ WW DX SSB Contest

The South African Radio League report the CQ WW DX SSB Contest will dominate the weekend of 24 and 25 October,
find the rules at https://www.cqww.com.

In a year where travel to interesting destinations is curtailed, there may be fewer multipliers, but expect the trend of more overall stations being on the air to continue.

Activity is on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres. The exchange is a RS report and your CQ Zone, for South Africa it is Zone 38.

TUESDAY EDITION: This guy needs a hobby like ham radio....I would hold off buying this model phone....14 edibles right out of the ocean you can grab, they fail to mention you need licenses in MA to do this....Today's Asshat Award goes to....

FCC Headquarters Relocates

FCC Headquarters has moved. The new address is 45 L St. NE, Washington, DC 20554. The change is effective immediately. The FCC announced plans to move last spring, but the transition was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FCC, like many federal agencies, has its own zip code, so there will be no disruption in mail delivery sent by USPS to the former address. The FCC still prohibits the delivery of hand-carried documents, and all COVID-19 restrictions or instructions regarding access to FCC facilities remain in place at the new location.

“The FCC continues to balance its efforts to be accessible to the public with the need for heightened security and health and safety measures and encourages the use of the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to facilitate the filing of applications and other documents when possible,” the FCC said in an October 15 Public Notice

Due to the pandemic, the move was accomplished by professional movers without the presence of any employees, all of whom had been working from home. An attempt was made during the summer to let employees back into headquarters for a day to pack up their offices and remove personal belongings, but that plan had to be scrapped after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Most FCC staff continue to work from home and are not expected to be physically present in their new offices before next June.

In anticipation of the planned move, the FCC last spring also announced the adoption of a new FCC seal. The redesign is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from employees and contractors. The revised design incorporates several elements: communications technologies; four stars on the outer seal border, drawing from the legacy of the predecessor Federal Radio Commission (FRC) seal, retaining the three-wire dipole supported by two towers; 18 stars on the shield, recognizing the current number of bureaus and offices; and the eagle and shield, identifying the FCC as a federal government agency.

Official use of the new seal was to begin following completion of the FCC’s move from The Portals to its new location on L Street NE.

Crystal Lake Boy Scouts tune in to amateur radio operation

Connections occur with ham radios in Texas, England and beyond

A group of nine members of Crystal Lake Troop 165 tuned into radio frequencies Sunday to connect with fellow scouts and amateur radio operators from across the planet as part of the annual Boy Scouts of America Jamboree-on-the-Air event.

Adjusting dials on various radio apparatus – which ranged from transmitting messages in Morse code to real-time voice conversations with people as far away as Texas and England – inspired the youth to express interest in obtaining their own government permissions to get on the air.

Members of the McHenry County Wireless Association brought hardware and their knowledge of radio operation to the Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center to help teach the scouts how to tune in and use frequencies that can allow communication across neighborhoods, counties, states, countries and oceans.

Assistant scoutmaster Bill Wacaser also piqued the boys' enthusiasm by telling them it is even possible to communicate with astronauts at the International Space Station during certain times of day with somewhat inexpensive equipment and basic know-how.

Amateur radio operators, also called ham radio operators, can be crucial to relaying information in emergencies, too, the scouts learned, especially during large-scale events that cause spikes in cellphone activity that overwhelm signal towers.

Remaining able to communicate during such situations was 16-year-old troop member Alex Tucker's motivation for saying he wanted to try passing an Amateur Radio License Exam within the next year.

"I think it's pretty awesome to have this opportunity," Tucker said. "It would be nice to have in general and in case of an emergency that there is no cellphone signal or something."

Noticeably more people have taken up ham radio assembly and operation during the COVID-19 pandemic due to having more time to spend at home during stay-at-home orders and just in case effects of the emergency outbreak make over-the-air communication helpful, said Gary Dembski, a member of the county wireless association group.

"It's a great, great hobby," Dembski said, adding that he used to help his parents tune into frequencies carrying conversations from their homeland Poland so they could hear their native language.

The pandemic became a topic of over-the-air discussion between Evan Ewertowski and Charlie Wacaser, both 11, and licensed ham radio operator Les Emanuel, who spoke to the boys from Worcestershire in the United Kingdom.

Charlie asked about how the coronavirus is impacting life across the pond, and Emanuel responded by saying, "The country is split up into hot spots and cold spots."

Emanuel added: "We have some strange rules over here. We can only gather in groups of six, or 15 for a wedding or 30 for a funeral."

Ewertowski found the experience rewarding, even with precautions in place like having the youth participants slip plastic bags over their hands while spinning tuners to limit the chances of spreading the virus.

"It was pretty fun," he said, adding he wants to get licensed himself. "I like doing this stuff, it's a great way to get scouts engaged."

Robert Bankston, KE4AL, is New AMSAT President

Robert Bankston, KE4AL, of Dothan, Alabama, is the new president of AMSAT. The AMSAT Board of Directors elected Bankston at its annual meeting on October 18, to succeed Clayton Coleman, W5PFG. Bankston has served as treasurer and Vice President of User Services. He is a life member of both ARRL and AMSAT. He volunteered to develop and launch AMSAT’s online member portal and chaired the 2018 AMSAT Space Symposium.

For his part, Coleman said that it had been “both a joy and a privilege” to serve as AMSAT president during 2020, which he called “a rather difficult year” for many in amateur radio. “With the talented and capable individuals sitting on AMSAT’s new Board and its officers, I am confident in a bright future ahead for AMSAT and the amateur radio satellite service.”

Other officers elected included Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, as Executive Vice President; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, as Vice President of Engineering; Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, as Vice President of Operations; Jeff Davis, KE9V, as Secretary; Steve Belter, N9IP, as Treasurer; Martha Saragovitz as Manager; Alan Johnston, KU2Y, as Vice President of  Educational Relations, and Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, as Vice President of Development. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service 

Amateur radio operators support worldwide earthquake drills

More than 20 Mendocino County amateur radio operators — also known as ham radio operators — participated in the Great ShakeOut exercise on Thursday, Oct. 15.

This is a worldwide event simulating actual conditions if there was an actual large earthquake and/or tsunami. If such an event were to occur, it is possible, even likely, that power, phone, cellphone and internet would be disrupted. Amateur radio is a communications system that operates independently of conventional infrastructure.

In 2017, during the October fires in Mendocino County, much of the communications for the central part for the county — including police and fire communications — were disrupted for several days. In that event, local hams provided critical communications.

For the drill initiated on Oct. 15, volunteers observed and reported the status of bridges and rivers for both earthquake damage and a possible tsunami. Reports were collected from all around the county, both on the coast and inland and forwarded to a station acting as the Mendocino County Emergency Operations Center.

The event was organized by the Mendocino County Auxiliary Communications Service. Mike Carter, a coordinator for MACS, said, “We are pleased at the efforts and results of the drill. We can count on these volunteers to help out in an actual emergency.”

MACS is an all-volunteer organization made up of FCC-licensed amateur radio operators to serve the community in times of emergency. Donations to support these activities gratefully accepted. Donations can be made to Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services.

MONDAY EDITION: Here is a novel way to steal your money....Plan to retrieve Titanic radio spurs debate on human remains ....All the big announcements from Apple's iPhone 12 launch event ....The Army's Mind-Bending 1,000-Mile Cannon Is Coming. Could It Bring Back Battleships? ....Modifying a MFJ 949E antenna tuner to remove RF burns, shocks and hand effects off the "antenna" knob ....Today's Dumbass drives his Tesla from the passenger seat on autopilot...Another Mysterious Jetpack Man Was Spotted Flying 6,000 Feet Over LAX

It came from Outer Space

A Hackaday article Listening to the Deep Space Network by Adam Zeloof KD2MRG describes the work of radio amateur David Prutchi N2QG  

Ham radio operators love to push the boundaries of their equipment. A new ham may start out by making a local contact three miles away on the 2m band, then talk to somebody a few hundred miles away on 20m.

Before long, they may find themselves chatting to fellow operators 12,000 miles away on 160m. Some of the adventurous return to 2m and try to carry out long-distance conversations by bouncing signals off of the Moon, waiting for the signal to travel 480,000 miles before returning to Earth.
And then some take it several steps further when they listen to signals from spacecraft 9.4 million miles away.

Read the full story at

The Reverse Beacon Network

The Reverse Beacon Network or RBN is a service that is invaluable to CW
operators. It is made up of dozens of dedicated receiving stations who report on all signals heard, both signal strength and CW speed. It is especially useful as a propagation tool. Just call CQ and see where and how well you are being heard.

Use it to compare antenna performance or to see how you are doing
compared to other stations. Probably the most useful feature is a database of past spots so you can look back over time to see what was happening on the bands.

The RBN is hosted by DXwatch.com and to use the system, you just log
into reversebeacon.net

Ethernet and a mesh network will permanently solve your WiFi issues

Deal with it. This is the way.

Working from home has many challenges, but there’s one that people everywhere, regardless of their setup, keep facing over and over again: slow, spotty Wi-Fi. If sprucing up your home network has not stopped your connection from snailing, or solved the dead zones plaguing your workday, it’s time to break out the big guns. In this context, that means running some Ethernet lines and plugging them into a mesh Wi-Fi system.

Ethernet + mesh = wonderful Wi-Fi everywhere

If your house is large or strangely laid out, no amount of router fiddling will get you solid, stable Wi-Fi in every corner—it’s just an unfortunate fact of life. Wireless extenders and mesh systems like Eero can help in some cases, but they aren’t a silver bullet, especially if you live in a large place or have to deal with thick, winding walls.

“That repeater picks up the quality that’s being given to it—if it’s picking up bad-quality Wi-Fi, all it can give out is bad-quality Wi-Fi,” explains Cham Clayton, owner of CBG Multimedia in Shepherd, Michigan. His company professionally installs Ethernet and Wi-Fi systems for residential and commercial properties, and he’s seen many cases where these fully wireless extenders can’t get the job done. Even if devices show more signal bars, the very nature of Wi-Fi extenders (even good ones with multiple radios for “backhaul”) will force that TikTok video you’re uploading to make multiple “hops” to get back to the router, slowing things down.

But there is a simple, clear solution to all this: connect each of those mesh nodes into your main router with Ethernet cables. By doing so, instead of repeating whatever degraded nonsense they’re picking up from the edge of your router’s limited radius, each unit gets its signal directly from the source with minimal signal loss. This way, no matter how old your house is, how thick the walls are, or how far away your office is from the modem, you’ll get perfect Wi-Fi coverage across your entire home, and you’ll never mutter curses to the Wi-Fi gods under your breath again.  ARTICLE.....

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....